Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (110)

Joan Collins

Question:

110. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will reverse the decision to end the Lough payment scheme also known as MABSlink. [24200/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

There are a number of Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS) companies which have been assisting and supporting their clients with a facility to make direct deductions from their social welfare payments for bill paying purposes through historical arrangements put in place by Cork MABS and the Lough Credit Union, using the Household Budget facility operated by An Post. This arrangement is known as the Lough Payment Scheme or MABSlink. The purpose of the Household Budget facility is to facilitate deductions from social welfare payments for specified creditors. The Lough Payment Scheme catered for a variety of creditors, some outside those specified for the Household Budget facility. In order to regularise these arrangements, the local MABS companies which have clients currently availing of the Lough Payment Scheme are working with these clients to explore alternative arrangements for paying their bills. The Citizens Information Board, which has statutory responsibility for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is liaising with the local MABS companies concerned. Particular effort is being made to ensure that suitable alternative options are made available and that clients will be fully supported through the transition to the alternative arrangement. I am informed that the current arrangements will continue for the remaining clients on an administrative basis in the interim.